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  1. #1 "Multiculturalism Attacks Even The French Language." 
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    France in shock as dictionary Le Petit Robert relaxes language rules

    Alain Rey's dictionary has stunned a country proud of its linguistic identity

    Schoolchildren are celebrating, commentators are astonished and purists are fuming over what they describe as a scandalous attack on 500 years of French history.

    In the most sweeping linguistic reform in France for centuries, Le Petit Robert, the nation's premier dictionary, has cast aside tradition to allow alternative spellings for thousands of words. Accents have become optional, consonants can be doubled on a whim and hyphens will float in and out of literary texts under the changes imposed by Alain Rey, the linguist responsible for the opus.

    He says that the reform has been necessary to enable a rigidly codified language to move forward in a society of slang and multi-ethnic innovation. “We have to make spelling simpler,” he said. “It's too complicated and it's not surprising that schoolchildren have trouble learning it.”

    In an attempt to ease their task in schools that continue to impose weekly dictations, he has included variable spellings for 6,000 of the 60,000 words in his dictionary, including many of foreign, and notably English, origin. Cameraman, for instance, can be written with or without an acute accent over the “e” in Le Petit Robert 2009, published this month. Manager can be spelt manageur and acupuncture can be turned into acuponcture.


    Mr Rey says that reform was long overdue, since the last great linguistic clean-up in 1762, when medieval spellings were prodded into what became modern French. He points out that the changes have been authorised by l'Académie Française, the body that regulates the language, and that the concept of twin spellings is nothing new. The French word for key, for example, has been written two different ways for years, he says - clé or clef.

    However, the initiative has sparked a furious row in a country that has clung to la langue française as a pillar of its identity ever since King François I made it the official language in 1539.

    “Until now, we tended to consider the French language dictionary as the supreme judge, the final arbiter,” Pierre Assouline, the renowned literary commentator for Le Monde, said. “We doubted, it decided, we obeyed. Those were the good old times. Confidence reigned. What are we to do if it is having doubts itself?”

    The controversy has spread to internet forums, where users have denounced the arrival of text-message terms at the heart of Gallic culture. snip
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle4922834.ece
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  2. #2  
    Whatever. I still have trouble with Latin.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Whatever. I still have trouble with Latin.
    Do you read the language ?
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  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    Do you read the language ?
    Yep. Both read and speak (although my "conversational" Latin is stilted and awkward). I learned the Classical pronunciation in school but I'm actually more at home with the Ecclesiastical accent. My best tutor was from Romania so I believe I have a somewhat disturbing Eastern European/Hicksville accent.

    Sort of like Dracula meets Debbie the Cheerleader. :p
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Yep. Both read and speak (although my "conversational" Latin is stilted and awkward). I learned the Classical pronunciation in school but I'm actually more at home with the Ecclesiastical accent. My best tutor was from Romania so I believe I have a somewhat disturbing Eastern European/Hicksville accent.

    Sort of like Dracula meets Debbie the Cheerleader. :p
    What was your intent in studying the language. It is considered dead after all ?
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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    What was your intent in studying the language. It is considered dead after all ?
    I tried the usual Romance languages in high school but just self-destructed. Who knows why? I already spoke Swedish (and read it) but this wasn't considered "the right" language for college. I found that I could fulfill my language requirements in both high school and, via AP or CLEP, my college stuff with Latin which I had taken earlier.

    I buckled down and got serious about it and I found a terrific (although somewhat drunk) tutor who was lost in the wilds of Colorado.

    My Latin credits exempted me from language classes in college but I went on to pursue Old English and Old Norse.

    Basically, I can easily follow the Tridentine Mass or read the Sagas but I still feel amused in a juvenile way about many French expressions. :D
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Yep. Both read and speak (although my "conversational" Latin is stilted and awkward). I learned the Classical pronunciation in school but I'm actually more at home with the Ecclesiastical accent. My best tutor was from Romania so I believe I have a somewhat disturbing Eastern European/Hicksville accent.

    Sort of like Dracula meets Debbie the Cheerleader. :p
    There's a really bad B movie in that title.
    Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
    C. S. Lewis
    Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives. (Are you listening Barry)?:mad:
    Ayn Rand
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  8. #8  
    Sonnabend
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    - Gallic Wars
    - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at ths time in history, a Roman -ed.]

    - Hundred Years War
    - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.

    - Italian Wars
    - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

    - Wars of Religion
    - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

    - Thirty Years War
    - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

    - War of Revolution
    - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

    - The Dutch War
    - Tied

    - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
    - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

    - War of the Spanish Succession
    - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

    - American Revolution
    - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."

    - French Revolution
    - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

    - The Napoleonic Wars
    - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

    - The Franco-Prussian War
    - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

    - World War I
    - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

    - World War II
    - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

    - War in Indochina
    - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

    - Algerian Rebellion
    - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

    - War on Terrorism
    - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

    The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"

    "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

    Or, better still, the quote from last week's Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."

    With only an hour and a half of research, Jonathan Duczkowski provided the following losses:

    Norse invasions, 841-911.
    After having their way with the French for 70 years, the Norse are bribed by a French King named Charles the Simple (really!) who gave them Normandy in return for peace. Normans proceed to become just about the only positive military bonus in France's [favour] for next 500 years.

    Andrew Ouellette posts this in response:

    1066 A.D. William The Conquerer Duke and Ruler of France Launches the Largest Invasion in the history of the world no other was as large until the same trip was taken in reverse on June 6th 1944 William Fights Harold for the Throne of England Which old king Edward rightfully left to William but Harold Usurped the throne Will fights the Saxons (English)wins and the French Rule England for the Next 80 Years. then the French start the largest building and economic infrastructure since the fall of the Roman Empire the Norman Economy skyrockets and the Normans inadvertantly start England to become a major world Power Vive La France-

    Matt Davis posts this in response to Andrew Ouellette above:

    Oh dear. We seem to have overlooked some basic facts. Firstly, Philip the First (1060 - 1108) was King of France at the time of the Norman invasion of 1066 - William was Duke of Normandy and, incidentally, directly descended from the Vikings. William was, therefore, as alien to France as the experience of victory. Since Philip did not invade England, the victory at Hastings was Norman - not French. Normandy may be a part of France now but it most certainly wasn't in 1066. Therefore, William's coronation as King of England had nothing whatsoever to do with the French. As usual, they were nowhere near the place when the fighting was going on. The mistaken belief that 1066 was a French victory leads to the Third Rule of French Warfare; "When incapable of any victory whatsoever - claim someone else's".

    Mexico, 1863-1864.
    France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.

    Panama jungles 1881-1890.
    No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.

    Napoleonic Wars.
    Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.

    Haiti, 1791-1804.
    French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.

    India, 1673-1813.
    British were far more charming than French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.

    Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
    Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Meditteranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.

    1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
    French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.

    Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
    Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrennes until the modern day.

    French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):

    1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacared by French.
    When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are badasses when fighting unarmed men, women and children.

    St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
    Once again, French-on-French slaughter.

    Third Crusade.
    Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.

    Seventh Crusade.
    St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.

    [Eighth] Crusade.
    St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    - Gallic Wars
    - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at ths time in history, a Roman -ed.]

    - Hundred Years War
    - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.

    - Italian Wars
    - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

    - Wars of Religion
    - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

    - Thirty Years War
    - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

    - War of Revolution
    - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

    - The Dutch War
    - Tied

    - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
    - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

    - War of the Spanish Succession
    - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

    - American Revolution
    - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."

    - French Revolution
    - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

    - The Napoleonic Wars
    - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

    - The Franco-Prussian War
    - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

    - World War I
    - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

    - World War II
    - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

    - War in Indochina
    - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

    - Algerian Rebellion
    - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

    - War on Terrorism
    - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

    The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"

    "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

    Or, better still, the quote from last week's Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."

    With only an hour and a half of research, Jonathan Duczkowski provided the following losses:

    Norse invasions, 841-911.
    After having their way with the French for 70 years, the Norse are bribed by a French King named Charles the Simple (really!) who gave them Normandy in return for peace. Normans proceed to become just about the only positive military bonus in France's [favour] for next 500 years.

    Andrew Ouellette posts this in response:

    1066 A.D. William The Conquerer Duke and Ruler of France Launches the Largest Invasion in the history of the world no other was as large until the same trip was taken in reverse on June 6th 1944 William Fights Harold for the Throne of England Which old king Edward rightfully left to William but Harold Usurped the throne Will fights the Saxons (English)wins and the French Rule England for the Next 80 Years. then the French start the largest building and economic infrastructure since the fall of the Roman Empire the Norman Economy skyrockets and the Normans inadvertantly start England to become a major world Power Vive La France-

    Matt Davis posts this in response to Andrew Ouellette above:

    Oh dear. We seem to have overlooked some basic facts. Firstly, Philip the First (1060 - 1108) was King of France at the time of the Norman invasion of 1066 - William was Duke of Normandy and, incidentally, directly descended from the Vikings. William was, therefore, as alien to France as the experience of victory. Since Philip did not invade England, the victory at Hastings was Norman - not French. Normandy may be a part of France now but it most certainly wasn't in 1066. Therefore, William's coronation as King of England had nothing whatsoever to do with the French. As usual, they were nowhere near the place when the fighting was going on. The mistaken belief that 1066 was a French victory leads to the Third Rule of French Warfare; "When incapable of any victory whatsoever - claim someone else's".

    Mexico, 1863-1864.
    France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.

    Panama jungles 1881-1890.
    No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.

    Napoleonic Wars.
    Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.

    Haiti, 1791-1804.
    French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.

    India, 1673-1813.
    British were far more charming than French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.

    Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
    Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Meditteranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.

    1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
    French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.

    Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
    Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrennes until the modern day.

    French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):

    1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacared by French.
    When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are badasses when fighting unarmed men, women and children.

    St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
    Once again, French-on-French slaughter.

    Third Crusade.
    Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.

    Seventh Crusade.
    St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.

    [Eighth] Crusade.
    St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.
    Factually Edifying History that !
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